Image of girl holding tropical flower on vacation. Barefoot Blonde | Amber Fillerup Clark

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Vacation


Taking a vacation, no matter where you go – is always such an amazing time to seek adventure, relax and get away from every-day life that can wear us out. For some of us who work in a traditional office setting by day, getting away for a long trip can be few and far between.

If you’re having a tough time leaving the office for a vacation, you need to make the most of your trip! Here’s 5 ways to make the most of your vacation.

Amber's Favorite Travel Items
Girl with tropical flower in her hair on vacation. Barefoot Blonde | Amber Fillerup Clark

1. Research Ahead of Time : There’s nothing more disappointing on a vacation than getting there and realizing you have no plan and no idea how you want to spend your time. Of course, you don’t need a play by play schedule of each day. But it’s nice to have an overall idea of where you may want to eat, the places you want to see, and the day you want to spend time relaxing. It’s nice to have a balance and plan in advance to ensure you get to do everything you want to do.

2. Wake Up Early : I know many of us wake up early during the week and it can be hard to get up at the same time when you’re in a magical place…BUT I think it’s all the more reason to get up early! You don’t want to waste any moment of your time there. Even if you relax as soon as you get up, enjoy a slow morning. Have breakfast in bed, read a book, and watch the sun rise! You’ll experience dreamy views, a fun long day and capture some stunning Instagram photos…

Palm trees with a light blue sky, the perfect image for a dream vacation. Amber Fillerup Clark | Barefoot Blonde

3. Utilize the Amenities : Whether you’re staying in a high-rise hotel in a world-renowned city, a rustic Airbnb in the mountains, or a dreamy resort on a tropical island; you’ll want to use all the amenities available to you. Sometimes we’re enjoying one aspect of our vacation that we don’t try something else. If there’s a hot tub in your space, use it. Does the resort have an expert concierge with amazing restaurant recommendations? Ask her! Does your hotel offer child care for you to relax with your spouse? Try it out. You’re spending your time and money to be there so you want to ensure you get the fullest experience.

4. Immerse Yourself in the Culture : You don’t have to travel around the world to experience a new “culture” on your vacation. Even if you’re just in a new state, take time to become a local. Eat at the hole-in-the-wall-but-oh-so-good-restaurants, watch the local sports, participate, wear the appropriate outfits. If you’re in Hawaii, this could mean you take a surfing lesson, eat acai bowls, and run around in flower crowns one night. It’s all about enjoying the place you’re in and being a blend of local, and tourist.

5. Go During a Holiday : If you have to use your vacation days sparingly, it’s best to take a vacation during a week that has a national holiday. If you do this, you’ll be able to have a weekend, a full week, and another weekend at your destination. That way, you get almost 10 days to go on a trip and you only took off 4 days from work instead of 5.

Two peoples feet in a hammock on vacation. Amber Fillerup Clark | Barefoot Blonde

Leaving work and going on a vacation can be tough but if you make the most of your time and have fun, you’ll come back relaxed, rejuvenated, and (if you woke up at sunrise) lots of dreamy photos to remind yourself of the amazing trip. Time to plan!

Article and images by Kylie Thompson. 

Meet Kylie

Hey there! I’m Kylie; a 25-(ish)-year-old photographer enjoying life with my husband and fluffy golden retriever.

If we sat down for a cup of tea and macarons, I would tell you that I believe laughter and dancing around your house lip-syncing to Whitney Houston can cure almost any sadness. I’m passionate about family, travel, writing, and photography. I love using my camera to capture the sweet moments of beautiful souls like YOU.

When I’m not working, I’m enjoying the shoreline of Lake Michigan in rain, shine, and snow, or snuggling with my husband and golden.

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Travel Beauty Emergency Kit | Barefoot Blonde | Amber Fillerup Clark

Travel Beauty Emergency Kit


Want to know one of my essentials for a rich, happy, FULL life? Vacations are essential. I firmly believe that. As a young, unmarried gal, I spent a good chunk of my income on travel— creating rich, beautiful, LASTING memories. And it was worth it. Now, as a married gal, my husband and I still make traveling a priority. Because money spent on experiences will always trump money spent on mindless junk. Even if you opt for a low-key “staycation,” invest in experiences.

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